Major changes have come to the EB-5 immigrant investor program, as the Final Rule was recently voided. It had gone into effect on November 21, 2019. As a result of the ruling by the U.S. Northern District Court of California that voids that rule, everything rolls back to the rules that were in place prior to November 21.
One of the major changes with the Final Rule was that the minimum investment was raised to a total of $900,000. This change decreases it back to $500,000, effective immediately. Those seeking an EB-5 visa on the grounds of financial investment can now seek it with roughly half of the investment that was allowed for the last two years.
Where does the minimum apply?
One thing that is worth noting is that the minimum of $500,000 only applies in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), and the initial definition of such an area — which was also altered in 2019 — will be used once again. Outside of one of these areas, the minimum is still $1,000,000.
What happens to the Regional Center Program?
In order for the Regional Center Program to continue, it would have need re-authorization on June 24, which would have come from the Senate. This was not granted, meaning that the program has come to an end. However, the Direct EB-5 Program is not impacted by this change, and it stays permanently in place. Investors can still strive to create businesses that offer at least 10-full-time jobs to workers in the United States, along with meeting the other criteria.
If you’re interested in using these programs, it’s important to know how the system currently works and what these changes mean for you.